BCfm’s weekly politics show presented by Tony Gosling
For all the shows back to Easter 2009 visit the Friday Drivetime archive page.
First hour: News review with Ashley ward Councillor Gus Hoyt (Grn). Will the future Bristol mayor cut through bureaucracy or cut through democracy? Could the mayor even be an elected dictatorship? How is Bristol’s May Gurney waste contract working out? Recycling levels improving but complaints about far too much street litter just ‘blowing about’. Euro crisis and discussion about likely Greek departure from the Euro. Debts that can’t be paid won’t be paid. Insolvent banking sector needs to be wound up in an orderly fashion. Greens would focus on policies for schools, community centres and the NHS. Lessons to learn from Iceland which jailed bankers and politicians and Argentina which underwent total financial meltdown in 2000. Which? magazine survey finds all major supermarkets are using confidence tricks on customers with their fake ‘half price’, ‘buy one get one free’and other ‘special offers’. But who can destroy the power of the supermarkets especially when they are colluding on deceptive pricing? City of London banking regulator Andrew Bailey signals the end of ‘free banking’ but, as we hear, account charges and banks’ ability to make up money out of nowhere and lend it at interest should mean free banking. Banking should be run as a public utility, a public service for all. Banking sector regulators Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Financial Services Authority (FSA) are more propaganda outfits than regulators as they are funded by the banks. Bankers are not like chrities, like an old fashioned feudal aristocracy. Credit unions are a viable alternative which keeps the wealth in the local community. The Bristol pound to be launched soon. Music: Editor of New York’s Trends Journal The Gerald Celente Mix by Robin Carvell. LibDem MP for Bristol West Stephen Williams asks awkward Prime Ministerial Question this week of David Cameron about policies for growth. Speaker asks Cameron to retract unparliamentary language calling Labour’s shadow chancellor Ed Balls a ‘muttering idiot’ but Cameron only pays lip service to the speaker’s demand. We are now in a ‘double dip’ recession because you can not have growth and austerity at the same time. Bad language and behaviour at Prime Ministers’ Questions led, on this occasion by David Cameron himself. Gus doesn’t want to build new homes but bring 7000 empty homes back into use and wonders why any offices are being built when so many around the city are empty. Apparent pointlessness of the local enterprise zone (LEZ) at Temple Meads. Tory party funder Adrian Beecroft’s report suggests employers should be able to ‘fire at will’ which causes tension with LibDem coalition partners. English Defence League (EDL) planning to march on the same day as Bristol Gay Pride march on Saturday 14th July. We are told that marches will take place at different times so there will be no clash, if you believe that. Comparison to the marching season in Northern Ireland and tensions there. South Gloucestershire Council scraps cabinet system and goes back to the old committee system after accusations of abuse of power by the Conservative cabinet. Imagine if LibDem councillor Gary Hopkins had been made mayor of Bristol, he may have forced through the sell off of green spaces in Bristol. Mayoral candidate George Ferguson is the bookies’ bet to become mayor. BBC Radio Bristol audience plummets has lost 25% of its audience in the last six months after losing 50% from October 2010 to October 2011. BBC Radio Bristol’s former BFBS presenter John Darble’s simpering interview with corrupt Defence Secretary and North Somerset MP Liam Fox. Welfare to work firm A4E auditor Eddie Hutchinson says the company was set up to facilitate fraud for Tory party favourite and ‘families’ czar’ Emma Harrison. Gus brings to our attention a recent New Economics Foundation (NEF) report which suggests Britain should have a 21 hour working week.
Second hour: Doctors and Scientists issue warning to NATO: A Nuclear Strike Could Starve The World because a limited nuclear war is being contemplated by the ‘Doctor Strangeloves’ in the Pentagon. Channel 4 Dispatches documentary Murder in St. James’ (1996) about the murder of PC Yvonne Fletcher in 1984 which was blamed on the Libyans but looks to have been a contract killing by a Berlin gangster, commissioned by US CIA and British intelligence services to discredit the Libyans.
Who Owns Britain? 1% own 71% of Britain & 45% own nothing at all. 40% of the 65% of UK homeowners in the UK are still paying off the mortgagage… but the cost to build a house should only be £6 a week. Journalist Kevin Cahill got interested in land ownership researching for the Sunday Times Rich List with the editor Philip Beresford. Rich List has severe limitations because the super-wealthy hide their capital in shell companies, numbered Swiss bank accounts and tax havens which do not feature in the Rich List. Inadequacies of the Land Registry which is constructed to conceal land ownership. Kevin’s book, Who Owns Britain (2002), took 13 years to research and write. BBC TV programme ‘Whose Britain Is It Anyway’ (2006) was based on the book but missed out fundamental aspects of Kevin’s findings. Freeholds are all in fact owned by the Queen so they are leases from the Queen in the small print of land title deeds. The Church of England have sold 2.1 million acres of glebe land slowly over the years. There is 60 million acres of land in Britain to share out among 62 million inhabitants. 1% of the population (159,000 families) own 71% of the land. Domesday book of 1086 was William the Conqueror’s ‘swag list’ inventory of resources to tax. William’s Domesday commissioners caused riots. There was a little known second domesday book of 1872. Do we really need land in a mercantile, money economy? 65% of families have a stake in their home either owning it or taking out a mortgage to buy it. US folk song ‘This Land Is Your Land’ (1940) by Woody Guthrie. Enclosure and privatisation of land in Britain by the wealthy but ordinary people had no vote. If you could not graze your animals on common land or collect wood in the winter you were dead. The pressure of evicted peoples’ need for land as it was enclosed was taken off by the cities, the factories … and the colonies. The real cost of building a 6 bedroom house: 800 man-hours of labour plus 700 man-hours in materials is 1500 man hours or £15,000 at £10/hour. The repayments on a 50 year interest free loan would be about £6 a week. A home is a fundamental human right so how to make sure everyone has a home that nobody can evict you from? Fiona O’Cleirigh and Kevin are working on a second edition of Who Owns Britain which is due to be published in the Autumn. Did you know the Queen owns 1/6th of all the land on earth? Have you ever heard of the British Indian Ocean Territory, a land area of 15,000 acres which is now believed to be used as a secret prison for captives of the war on terror? Kevin Cahill, asserts that the main cause of most remaining poverty in the world is an excess of landownership in too few hands. He says private ownership of a very small amount on land – one-tenth of an urban acre or an acre or two of rural land – granted to every person on the planet has the potential to begin ending poverty. Kevin says the right to land is a fundamental human right and also wrote the book Who Owns The World (2006)
Tonight’s playout track is Hearts by L.S.G. – aka. German musician Oliver Lieb (1994).